Garlic Mustard Squad!

Garlic Mustard, a real trouble-maker of a plant, is flowering in many areas of Lebanon. Be on the lookout for plants with 4 white petals

WHY  concern about this plant?

Native to Europe where it has many insect predators and diseases, it is only found there in small colonies.  Here, there are no insects that eat it and no disease to keep it in check.  It invades forests:  It disrupts forest ecosystems in several ways.  It has chemicals that are toxic to soil microbes and can greatly reduce propagation of native plants.  It can out-compete native plants and reduce biodiversity once it gets established.

It is a fierce competitor:  A single plant can produce hundreds of seeds.  It has no predators here.  It is a biennial and its seeds can be viable for 10 years. Once established, it is a long-term project to reduce it.  It is best to catch it early, before it turns into a long-term project.

WHAT can you do?

Learn to identify the plant (see link).  Help with pulling on your property and along road-sides in your neighborhood.

Pull the plant and put it in trash bags:  Be sure to pull from the base of the stalk and wiggle the plant so the entire white root comes up.  Be sure bags are tightly closed and properly disposed of.  Tell your neighbors and help organize socially distant community pulls (and tell us about them!) if you find larger colonies in your neighborhood.

 Help pull on the Mascoma River Greenway and Northern Rail Trail!
For the next two weeks, the City will have signs describing Garlic Mustard and bags for disposing of the plants (no trash please!) at a couple of locations on each of these popular public paths. Please stop and pull when you can, bag the pulled plants, and leave the bag, securely closed, for the next volunteer. Thanks to the Rec & Parks Department and DPW for coordinating disposal of full bags of Garlic Mustard. Please help by moving only securely tied & full bags to the trailhead of the rail trail (near CCBA) or to the MRG parking lot at Slayton Hill/Mascoma St so they can be picked up. Email me if bags need replacing.

Report locations where you find Garlic Mustard (better yet, where you pull it!): there are many reporting apps these days:

try iNaturalist or  EDDMaps.

With thanks to The Hanover Biodiversity Committee for permission to use their text and links.

Thanks and stay well,

Sarah Riley <rileysarah@yahoo.com>

Lebanon Conservation Commission

The plan:

Sunday, May 17th – Saturday, May 30th

Task: Pull the Garlic Mustard 2nd year growth

Drop off locations/Pick Up:

  • Slayton Underpass Parking Lot – Picked Up Monday/Friday – Recreation
  • Alice Peck Day Parking Lot – Picked up Monday/Friday – Recreation
  • Northern Rail Trail Head (by CCBA)  Picked up Thursday – Landfill

The MRG – Equal, Accessible, and Resilient Public Space

 

“Equal, accessible and resilient public space can promote civic health during a pandemic. Over the long term it will promote the health, welfare and equality of our cities for decades to come.”

The Spaces That Make Cities Fairer and More Resilient – NYT

The value of the MRG to Lebanon and surrounding communities is vibrantly evident during this time of pandemic. Whole families biking, parents with infants and toddlers in strollers, roller bladers, joggers, dog walkers, wild flower aficionados, and birders, all out enjoying the beautiful natural space and recreational opportunities offered by the Mascoma River Greenway.

Here are a few tips from Trail Finder as to keeping safe on public trails during this pandemic:

  • Make the health of everyone in your community your priority. Go out only if you’re feeling healthy and you have not had close contact with anyone who is sick.
  • If you drive to access outdoor spaces, don’t carpool with non-household members.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others and wear a mask in a public setting, including the outdoors.
  • Please leash your dog! They are members of your household and need to keep their social distance as well (and most standard leashes are 6 feet in length).
  • AVOID HIGH USE AREAS. If you see a lot of cars at a trailhead, try a different trail or go during a less busy time of day.

Stay safe and be well!

Clean Up!

Photo- Rainie Kelly

Thanks to volunteers Donn Cann and Bob Leach for the heavy-duty clean up of tires and other trash on the western end of the MRG . . . and  to Recreation & Parks Facilities Manager, Doug McGrath, for hauling it all to the landfill.

“Throw away?”  There is no such thing as “away.”

 

A Sign of Hope Along the MRG

(Thanks to Sarah Riley for this photo.)

Spring!


Snowy and cold yesterday – sunny and warm today. Bikers, runners, strollers, dog walkers, and this little guy on his scooter – everyone enjoying this beautiful Spring day.

NH Rail Trail Economic Impact Study Survey (Due April 15, 2020)

The State of New Hampshire owns almost 500 miles of rail trails, which are an asset to the State’s growing recreation and nature based economy.  In preparation for a State Rail Trail Plan, the NH Department of Transportation and its partners are surveying trail users to learn how rail trail use impacts our local economy. While there are no rewards for participating, please know that your input is vital to planning for the future of rail trails in New Hampshire.  The 5 minute survey is open for 1 week, until April 15th.  Click the link below to begin the survey.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Looking eastward under Hanover Street bridge toward the downtown Mall

Though it will be many months before the work is completed, it’s encouraging to see progress toward connecting the Mascoma River Greenway to the Northern Rail Trail via the tunnel. The Mall parking area, that once formed the roof of the tunnel, has been removed. (See the plan for how it will eventually look.) There is a plan for major work to be done on the Hanover Street bridge next summer, which is likely to delay tunnel use, but step by step we are moving forward.

 

Thank You Upper Valley Rugby Volunteers!



“Members of the Upper Valley Rugby Club complete the season at the MRG Pocket Park with mulching, raking, and general clean up. The UVRC has adopted the Pocket Park and its members are becoming quite knowledgeable about planting, fertilizing, mulching, and general plant maintenance. We couldn’t do it without them!” – Cindy Heath

Latest Work Day – Report from the Field

On October 26, the Lebanon Parks and Recreation Department organized a workday on the Mascoma River Greenway. Volunteers from the Valley Bible Church in White River Junction joined trail enthusiasts from Lebanon to help install five more benches along the MRG, bringing the total number to six. In addition, volunteers pulled weeds which were encroaching on the trail, applied preservative to the wooden railings and helped to anchor the umbrella sculpture which sits near the Mascoma River. Going forward, there is a hope that the City can recruit individuals and organizations to take responsibility to maintain a short section of the trail on a year-round basis.  – Rainie Kelly

Thanks to all who vounteered! Good to know the shifting Umbrella sculpture is now anchored in place!

MRG Walk and Work Days

Looking north from the MRG bridge over the Mascoma River

Free Fall MRG Walk – Friday, October 25th 10am to 11am, Mascoma River Greenway; For all ages. Stretch those legs this Fall and enjoy foliage along the MRG. Bring a water bottle, chat with other community members and make some friends! Meet at the Leb Rec Office in River Valley Community College. Register online at LebanonNH.com/Register.
Volunteer Day on the Greenway – Saturday, October 26th 9am to 12pm, Mascoma River Greenway; Interested in volunteering on the Mascoma River Greenway? Contact Krissy at flythe@lebanonnh.gov for more information.